Casandra Lopez

Issue 8 • March 2013


All of the poets
are writing
     about the eclipse
      of moths

    that thicken
our vision, their dust flesh
and wisps of wings.
But I still write
     And taste his absence,
     death my own moon
      shadow, sending slices
of grief I suck and spit,
turning me
as damp newspaper I use to ghost
swat memory.
A flutter of moths dance,
     mill above me,
 light and warm night.
      I remember: Brother
     at the break
   of April.
Born of grit and meadow,
        brown as a ruddy nut–skin
       that spoke
     of our desert blood.
Moths swarm. Poets catch them,
     bloated New Mexican bugs,
  between fingers, against alcohol
soaked tongues, mouths filling
      with earthy cinder.

The Navajo poet tells me–
 an old story. Why she won't touch them.
   She was taught
about a madness,
  shivering bodies and fire.

But April death is insistent,
   nature comes

each tiny carcass
    a downed plane
  the horizon.
Despite the warning
  I scoop up stiff bodied
     moths with bare
    hands, examine

their thin scales, marvel
at lightness–I no longer want
      to be afraid
   of what death brings.